Special Reports

FIJI suspended, under alcohol ban after student's death

The FIJI house at the corner of Pollock Road and Burrowes Road, Wednesday, September 23, 2009. CDT/Christopher Weddle
The FIJI house at the corner of Pollock Road and Burrowes Road, Wednesday, September 23, 2009. CDT/Christopher Weddle

In addition to being suspended by the Interfraternity Council at Penn State, the local chapter of Phi Gamma Delta is required to be alcohol-free, said the national chapter.

Phi Gamma Delta, or FIJI, the fraternity where freshman Joseph Dado was last seen before he was found dead at the bottom of a stairwell, was suspended Tuesday night by the IFC "pending the investigation of a furnishing alcohol to minors charge."

Bill Martin, executive director of the international headquarters for the fraternity, said the ban on alcohol will be "at least until the conclusion" of the police investigation.

"This action is not taken as discipline of the chapter but is a sensible precaution typically taken in such circumstances," he said in a press release. "We are confident the chapter will continue to cooperate with the authorities that are investigating this tragic incident."

The IFC met Tuesday in response to Dado's death. He was a "potential" fraternity member participating in recruitment at FIJI, they said.

During the suspension, the fraternity will be prohibited from having or attending any social events.

Police, as part of their investigation, are looking to see if Dado consumed any alcohol the Saturday night or Sunday morning before he went missing. No one could find him for 39 hours.

Police haven't said if they believe alcohol is a factor, and are awaiting toxicology results from the coroner.

In addition to the suspension, the IFC is asking all fraternities to refrain from social events until the end of rush, Oct. 2.

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